Book number: 91871 Product format: Hardback Author: WILLIAM URBAN

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Warfare results from disordered identity and in earlier times can be traced to the progress of urbanisation, or more recently to the ideology of the secular state being replaced by fundamentalist religious loyalties, which frequently assert that religion is more important than material wealth, a tendency seen not only in modern Islam but also in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. The author of this book puts forward themes that challenge the received thinking about warfare, focusing on three arguments: that small wars are inevitable, that they will mostly be concentrated in areas where honour is valued and material possessions disdained, and thirdly, that most wars will use professional soldiers and elite forces to reduce the political costs. The book was published before the current war in Ukraine and the author notes that our politicians tell us that general war is unlikely. But he adds, "Wars just over the horizon of our awareness are nothing new, as the examples in this book will illustrate". He comments that we tend to worry about weapons of mass destruction, but points out that the jihadists on 9/11 used only box cutters to hijack the planes that did such massive damage and changed our world-picture. Spain and Portugal created the first great colonial empires, encouraging the exploitation of native peoples without provoking rebellion. Military historians of the 19th century were divided on whether the world could be controlled by conquering eastern Europe and central Asia, or whether sea power and domination of trade and coastlines was the route to global power. This debate lay at the back of the "Great Game", focused on the prevention of Russian expansion. Ignorance of the terrain in Afghanistan led to impossible expectations, but the British had better agents and were eventually able to stop Russian colonisation of India. It was only a matter of time until the British, too, lost their empire. 226pp.

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ISBN 9781473837928

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